Like Father Like Sons by Rachel Martin

Traditionally, fathers pass the family business down to their children.

But in the Kenoly family, Ron Sr.?nationally recognized praise & worship leader?passed to his sons a legacy of worship. With the release of the Kenoly Brothers? debut All the Way, the duo?Ron Jr. and Sam?make their own mark with smooth, anointed R&B.

The guys? Afro-Puerto Rican lineage influences their sound. ?We try to write universal music,? Sam says. ?We want Chinese people, black people, white people, Indian people, all people. We think we?ve got the right balance to our style. We?re not so soft we?ll only get the N?Sync fans, and we?re not so hard we?ll only get the Dru Hill fans. From the city to the suburbs, we want to reach everybody with this message about Christ.?

Because of their background and their desire to attract a wide audience, the guys are learning Spanish. Though their mother was born in Puerto Rico, the welfare department forced her to speak English when she moved to New York City as a child. Sensing a need for Jesus in the Latino Communities and a lack of Christian artists reaching them, the brothers decided to learn the language and include some Spanish songs on their next album. ?In a way I?m scared to reach out because we don?t speak Spanish,? Ron, Jr. says. ?As soon as (Latino listeners) find out we?re Puerto Rican, they?re excited. Then, when they hear we don?t speak Spanish, they?re like disappointed. Usually when people learn why we don?t speak Spanish, they have a different attitude and understand.?

Another group that Ron, Jr. and Sam focus on is their peers: the Gen-Xers. ?This generation has been abandoned by the older generation,? Sam says. ?We?ve been bad-mouthed and put down, and it bothers me.?

In order to create the music they wanted to make, the brothers teamed up with their older brother Tony to start their own label: Next Generation Ministry Records. ?I wanted to start a ministry to reach the next generation that everybody is doggin?,? Sam says. ?I wanted to let them know there?s a better way. I called it Next Generation so we?ll never go out of style. After we reach the next generation, then we go after the generation after that and on and on.?

The guys also see the company as something they can pass to their children one day. ?We want to build something our kids can inherit,? Ron, Jr. explains. ?Signing yourself to another label is like renting a house. You don?t do it unless you have to, otherwise, you are just paying somebody else?s bills.?

As the Kenoly Brothers continue to spread the Gospel message, they propagate their father?s legacy and still make their own mark. ?It?s about standing up for Christ and getting that message across to people,? Ron, Jr. says. ?It?s about going all the way with the Lord.?

Reprinted by Permission, Release Magazine.